Distance learning wasn’t a stretch…for me [Opinion]


While generally quite challenging, the period of online learning caused by the pandemic was rewarding to some students.

Anna Solomon, Staff Writer

Mixed reactions arose when Walsh Jesuit’s administration announced they would be implementing distance learning last school year from late November to early January, my freshman year. While many of the negative impacts were apparent, I would argue that lockdown and distance learning did more good than harm for me.

Very obviously, the school day changed. Traditionally, classes start at 8:00 am and end at 2:40 pm. During distance learning, the school day started at 9:00, and classes lasted for four to five hours. This later start time and sleeping in until 8:30 was the highlight of some of my days.

The shorter school day gave me time to actually relax. The commute time to Walsh vanished, so I took my dog on four-mile walks and listened to podcasts. Gone were the days of eating peanut butter sandwiches in the Commons. Now, I could make pasta, roasted chicken sandwiches, and huge salads with the hour I had for lunch. Tech crew was canceled and Mock Trial was moved online, so spare time was spent reading all afternoon. My “to be read” list dwindled as I read 137 books during 2020. I spent my mornings stress baking and my evenings watching Avatar: The Last Airbender and The Great British Bake Off.

My dog, Elvis, and I took long walks during my free-time. (Anna Solomon)

However, lockdown and distance learning most definitely had its drawbacks. Both my parents work in the medical field and, because father worked with Covid positive patients, I was terrified that he would test positive and end up dying. I also saw the friendships I had formed with classmates that I had only known for three months slowly weaken because we only saw each other over Zoom. My family also finally got on my nerves. There are only so many times someone can listen to an argument about unloading the dishwasher and vacuuming a room.

Don’t get me wrong… 2020 was a horrific year in more ways than one. I was more than grateful to watch the ball drop at midnight on New Year’s and return to Walsh after an extended Christmas break. The biggest take away, however, was the newfound appreciation I had for the little things in life. Being able to see friends, go to school, and having a busy day were parts of my life that I had previously accepted without a second thought. Now, I appreciate all of the mundane aspects about my life and more.